Note from Farid Ghadry: I understand that some of the PJM readers have expressed skepticism about the videos our people in Syria are able to shoot and upload, some using their own cell phones and some with video cameras.
The videos get uploaded to us within hours of being shot on the same day of the event. Faking videos takes time and very sophisticated equipment. None of which are available to the Syrians fighting the murderous regime of Assad. However, if anyone believes these are fake videos, RPS would be more than happy to fully refund your airline ticket to Dara’a, Latakya, or Homs if you can prove, after your trip, that these are fake videos. And don’t forget your own video camera as this could be a real memorable trip.
Syrian security forces, positioned on rooftops, have been picking off unarmed civilian demonstrators with live hollow-point ammunition using high-precision rifles. The Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibits the use in warfare of bullets that easily expand or flatten in the body.
Izrah’ (near Dara’a, in southeastern Syria):
A father carries a dead, or dying, child — later identified as ten-year-old Iyad Awad Shehab — who has been shot in the head. The child’s brother screams “Akooya (my brother).”
The videographer pans to show a chaotic situation. People shout “Car!” — a car is approaching down the road to spray them with bullets. The videographer is heard calling out to god:
A man who has been fatally shot in the head is carried through a large crowd. The crowd chants “No god but one god.” Someone calls the man a martyr:
Zabaltani (outskirts of Damascus):
People run as gunfire erupts down the road. A large poster displayed by the Syrian government reads “I am with the law”.
A courageous man shouts “Don’t worry people!” Then: “A traitor kills his people!” This phrase has been frequently heard in demonstrator chants.
Another man: “Come back, we are all together. … Let him kill ten, one thousand, one million, we are all together in one hand!”
A minute later, the dead and the injured from the earlier burst of gunfire appear. The videographer intentionally does not zoom on the demonstrators’ faces (the video may be used to identify demonstrators to detain and torture later).
The first victim comes into focus — the videographer asks several times: “Where is he hit?” Bystanders ask for a car to transport him to the hospital. They ask for his name, and it is given as Bassam Abu Saleem.
Another burst of gunfire is heard, and more people flee. The videographer shouts: “Gunfire, gunfire!” A bullet hits close by and ricochets — Syrian thugs have been targeting anyone holding a video camera to prevent the footage of massacres reaching the outside world.
The gunfire stops, and the videographer runs to a body on the ground with a gunshot wound through his head. They try to carry him to a car, in vain. One says: “put your hands under his head” — presumably to attempt to stop the bleeding.
They drop the body, then lift him and carry him off. Heavy gunfire again targets the civilians, and the videographer can be heard praying. Another victim is seen being carried to safety:
A man identified as Bilal al-Shooha lies dead with a gruesome face wound. Men cry in the background:
Mare’h (suburb of Aleppo):
A night demonstration that gathered after learning of today’s earlier massacres — this is an area of Aleppo that has not held demonstrations previously, a sign that the intensity of the situation is increasing. They chant: “God, Syria, and Freedom Only!” Then: “Bidna al-Haq! (We want justice!)”:
Hama was also attacked savagely in 1982, with heavy artillery and tanks, by Assad’s father. The bombardment lasted for two weeks. Some 30,000 people died.
As an American with Syrian roots, I want the American people to witness the horror of the Assad regime.
Update: Moadamyeh. April 22, 2011:
In the video one can hear live ammunition being used as soon as anyone tries to reach the main street. The videographer shouts “Protect yourselves from these thugs, protect yourselves”. After some automatic weapons are fired, the videographer shouts “Listen world how live ammunition is being used”. He makes the statements that already 10 people have died as a result of sniper fire already today.
Update: April 23 — Birzeh (outskirts of Damascus):
At a funeral, thousands of people chant: “The people want to topple the regime!” If today plays out like yesterday, it won’t be long before security snipers start shooting at this crowd. (UPDATE, 8:55 a.m. EST: The AP has received witness accounts claiming six people have been murdered this morning — two in Izraa, and four at a funeral “outside Damascus”) :
Newer videos follow on next page.
Update: April 24 — Latakya (Port City to the Mediterranean Sea)
A grainy video taken from a balcony in Latakya on April 23, 2011, overlooking demonstrators and an army position. After the videographer zooms to the army soldiers, one can hear gun fire erupt but one cannot see who is shooting. Then a moment later, we see one soldier step up, aim, and fire a burst directly at the demonstrators. The videographer is cursing the soldier and calling him a murderer. After the soldier fires, his commander waves him off to the side. From the video, one can tell there is no discipline amongst the ranks of the army and that any soldier can shoot at will, at any moment.
Update: Homs (Western Syria)
A short video showing people in Homs, tearing down this awful large poster of a smiling terrorist watching over them:
April 23 — Damascus:
Syrians burn a poster of Assad and then beat it with their shoes, the ultimate insult in Syria:
April 23 — Douma:
Assad’s security forces clearing out dead bodies to mask the number of deaths. Some bodies are taken in pickup trucks to be dumped in mass graves in high security areas:
April 23 — Douma:
A funeral procession with thousands of Syrians marching. After a burst of gunfire erupts, we see people encouraging each other by waving back those who tried to retreat. They chant: “All together!”
The cameraman zooms on a rooftop where the profile of a sniper can be seen momentarily. A few moments later, the people collect a Syrian who appears dead and carry him away while cursing and praying:
April 23 — Jibleh:
For the first time, we see the Syrian flag that was used after Syrian independence on April 17, 1946. This means Syrians are refusing to raise the Ba’ath Party flag, an imitation of the ultra-nationalistic Nazi Party, and instead are choosing the flag that ushered a real democracy after WWII: